Do I Need a Lawyer After an Accident?

Written by Barry R. Rabovsky on . Posted in Accidents General, Car Accidents, Legal Advice

If you’ve been in a car or other accident and want to make a claim, one of the key questions you will have is: “Do I need a lawyer?” The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the seriousness of the accident and severity of your injuries.

There are times when you may not need a lawyer’s help after an accident. For example, if you were in a minor fender-bender and are certain you did not suffer any injuries, you may not need a lawyer’s help.

However, for most other accidents, it is vital to have a lawyer’s help.

Some Ways a Lawyer Will Help After Your Accident

If there is a dispute over who was at fault, it is important to speak with an attorney. If you suffered serious injuries from the accident, you should definitely consult a lawyer. Even when your injuries are minor, you should still talk to a lawyer because some serious injuries take time to develop.

One of the main reasons why it’s vital to talk to a lawyer after an accident is because of the way insurance companies operate. An accident victim who deals directly with an insurance adjuster is taking on a huge risk. Insurance companies are in business to make money. One way they do this is to lower the amount they pay for claims, including your claim. They will try many tactics to achieve this, as they know you are inexperienced in handling accident claims. Having a lawyer help you deal with an adjuster gives you a much better chance to get the maximum compensation.

There are other reasons why you should use a lawyer after an accident. Your lawyer can explain your rights and duties, and tell you how much money you are entitled to receive. In addition, some claims have special rules. Not following them can cause you to lose your claim.

Maybe you are not only the victim, but are also accused of causing an accident. Your lawyer can help show if your “fault” was only small, to limit your liability. Your lawyer can also find out if you have insurance that will pay the claim or if someone else should share the responsibility.

As you’ve seen, in most cases you should have a lawyer’s help after an automobile or other kind of accident, especially if you were hurt. Having a lawyer’s help will increase your chances of getting the best settlement and make sure you don’t become another victim of insurance company misconduct.

You Need Great Legal Advice…

Injured in an accident? CALL US! We can help.You need someone who is on your side and knows exactly what they’re doing. Barry R. Rabovsky only represents injured individuals and their families. With more than 29 years of experience as a personal injury attorney in the Chicago metropolitan area, he is well known and highly regarded. He is an aggressive, skilled trial lawyer with a reputation for excellence that makes his retention a key to success in complex, adversarial personal injury proceedings. Contact Barry today toll-free at (800) 822-4321 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Should I Do After an Accident?

Written by Barry R. Rabovsky on . Posted in Car Accidents, Legal Advice

You’re driving along when suddenly a car hits you. It’s hard to think clearly at this time, but the information you obtain right after an auto accident — and what you say  — can have a big impact on the amount of compensation you recover.

There are some important steps to follow if you are in a car accident. These things will reduce the hassles and help you get the maximum recovery for your injuries and losses.

Crucial Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

* Call 911 to summon medical help for anyone injured.  It’s generally advisable not to move anyone who is injured.

* Exchange information. After you make sure injuries are attended to, talk to the other driver to exchange information. Don’t discuss how the accident happened or blame anyone. You should exchange the following information with the other driver: name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance company and policy number.

If the driver of the other car is not the owner, get the registered owner’s name, address, phone number and the name of his or her insurance company and policy number.

* Document the other car. Write down the other car’s make, model, year, license number and vehicle identification number.

* Gather witnesses. Get the name, address, and home and work phone numbers of all witnesses (including passengers in both cars). If any witnesses were driving, write down their car’s make, model and license number. Don’t rely on the other party or the police to get witness information — obtain this information yourself.

* Document the police officer. Get the name, badge number and police department of the officer who responds to the accident scene.

* Make notes. As soon as you can, whether at the accident scene or right after, make notes of what happened. (You can also make an audio recording of this information on your phone.) Write down the road and weather conditions, as well as where and when the accident happened. Make a note of anything you saw, heard or sensed before, during and after the accident. Also make a diagram of the accident.  Be sure your diagram includes traffic signals, street signs and crosswalks.

* Don’t admit fault. Whether at the scene or afterward, don’t admit fault, even if you think you caused the accident. Emotions can affect you at an accident scene, and the sense of being responsible may later turn out to be wrong.  Also, things you did not know or see may indicate the other driver caused the accident or was partly at fault. Never admit fault or responsibility, at least not before consulting your lawyer.  Remember that anything you say can be used against you later.

* Pictures. Take photos of the accident scene and cars involved. The photos can show damage better than a repair bill from an auto body shop. Also have photos taken of your injuries. These can help show how much pain you suffered.

* See a doctor. You should see a doctor even if you think you have no serious injuries.  Many injuries take time to develop, and a doctor can help prevent minor injuries from getting worse.  

* Notify your insurance company. Even though you are required to notify your insurance company, it is strongly recommended that you consult your lawyer before giving a statement to your insurance company representative or filling out their accident documents.

* Never sign a “release” or accept a settlement offer before first consulting your lawyer.  Once you accept a settlement, you usually cannot recover any more money, even if you later find out your injuries or losses are worse than you thought when you accepted the settlement.

* Get legal help. Contact us to discuss confidentially what happened. We will advise you about notifying other parties, your legal rights and duties, and how much money you may be entitled to receive. Call immediately after the accident, as there are time limits for making claims. Also, the longer you wait, the harder it can be to find evidence and witnesses.

Following these steps will help get assistance to injured people, create a good record of what happened, and help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

You Need Great Legal Advice…

Injured in an accident? CALL US! We can help.You need someone who is on your side and knows exactly what they’re doing. Barry R. Rabovsky only represents injured individuals and their families. With more than 29 years of experience as a personal injury attorney in the Chicago metropolitan area, he is well known and highly regarded. He is an aggressive, skilled trial lawyer with a reputation for excellence that makes his retention a key to success in complex, adversarial personal injury proceedings. Contact Barry today toll-free at (800) 822-4321 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Are The Most Important Things To Do After A Car Accident?

Written by Barry R. Rabovsky on . Posted in Car Accidents

So you just have been involved in an accident? Was it your fault? How do you know? Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state, so fault matters.

You have to document as much information as you possibly can. Your cell phone is your friend; take pictures, record your thoughts in audio, get statements if you can, and gather as much information as possible, because tomorrow this will all be a blur.

Don’t Be A Victim

After an accident, there’s a good chance an insurance adjuster will contact you. He or she will likely say or do things under the pretense of trying to help you, but be aware they are really meant to get you to settle your claim for little or no money and without involving a lawyer. 

Here are some tactics that adjusters use on accident victims with the goal to lower payouts.  Knowing about them can help you avoid being a victim.

* Adjusters try to convince you that a lawyer won’t help you, saying that the adjuster will get you the best settlement.  Don’t be tricked by this!  Adjusters work for the insurer, not you, and their goal is to pay you as little as possible so the insurance company boosts its profits.  Your own lawyer is truly on your side after an accident and will work to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.

* Stalling.  Some accident victims first try handling their claim alone to see if they’ll get a good offer from the insurance company.  The adjuster will stall, and meanwhile, valuable time is being lost.  It’s important to get your lawyer involved early, when evidence is fresh and witnesses’ memories are strong.  Also, if you wait too long to make your claim, the deadline to make claims may expire.

* Trying to get statements from you before you’ve hired a lawyer. Anything you say can be used against you, and adjusters are good at getting accident victims to say things that hurt their case.  Avoid this by consulting your lawyer before giving any statement.

* Trying to get you to sign things that hurt your case.  This can include authorizations that let the insurance company get all your medical records (and then claim the accident wasn’t the cause of your injuries), and a release of all claims for a small sum of money, which prevents you from getting the maximum compensation.  To avoid problems, don’t sign anything unless your lawyer tells you that it’s okay to sign.

These are just some of the tactics insurance adjusters can use to lower accident payouts.  To avoid being victimized by them, call your lawyer promptly after an accident.  Your lawyer will deal with the insurance company for you, helping you receive the maximum compensation.

You Need Great Legal Advice…

Injured in an accident? CALL US! We can help.You need someone who is on your side and knows exactly what they’re doing. Barry R. Rabovsky only represents injured individuals and their families. With more than 29 years of experience as a personal injury attorney in the Chicago metropolitan area, he is well known and highly regarded. He is an aggressive, skilled trial lawyer with a reputation for excellence that makes his retention a key to success in complex, adversarial personal injury proceedings. Contact Barry today toll-free at (800) 822-4321 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Barry R. Rabovsky
1355 South Route 59 1A | Naperville, IL 60564
Telephone: (630) 820-1000
Toll Free: (800) 822-4321
Fax: (630) 820-4585